After finishing first at the fabulous Losail International Circuit at Qatari capital Doha, Red Bull Grand Prix Circuit of Americas at Austin and Argentina’s Termas de Río Hondo City GP circuit, world champion Marc Marquez did it for the fourth time in a row at Spain’s famed Jerez circuit on Sunday May 4, 2014. The Spaniard was happy that he won at the home circuit at Gran Premio bwin de Espana for the first time. The second place on the podium beside Marquez was shared by Italian legend Valentino Rossi, who at 35, has continued in the circuit for 18 years now. Marc’s Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa, last year’s winner at Jerez, was third. In many ways, the Jerez MotoGp was similar to the Losail GP circuit, where Marquez, Rossi and Pedrosa had the same 1-2-3 finish.
The Jerez victory was the 100th Grand Prix appearance for Marquez and with this, he became the first rider to record four consecutive opening victories in premier class races since the Australian Mick Doohan had done the same 22 years ago. In addition, it was Marquez’s maiden victory at the Jerez International GP Circuit. Interestingly, in all four races of the year, Marquez’s have always found his Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa on the podium and twice at no.2 in America and Argentina.
Earlier on Saturday, Marquez won his fourth straight pole position this season with a new track record during the qualifiers. He pushed his Honda through the 4.42 kilometer long Jerez circuit in a flying lap lasting just 1 minute 38.120 seconds. For the Pole, Marquez was closely followed by fellow Spanish riders; Jorge Lorenzo of the Yamaha Movistar team and his own Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa. Valentino Rossi finished fourth on Saturday.
Despite beginning first from his pole position, Marquez was immediately overtaken by Ducati’s Italian rider Andrea Dovizioso in the opening moments of the race. The Italian used the shorter inner-line route and moved ahead but lost his lead pretty soon on the first turn. Marquez and Rossi went ahead of Dovizioso at a wider exit. Jorge Lorenzo, who was bunched together with the lead-pack, had to drop back because his bike wheeled awkwardly. Marquez was challenged by Rossi in the initial two laps but the 21-year old world champion regained his lead bit by bit. Not only that, Marquez bore down on his tyre and produced the fastest lap of the race on lap 5. Rossi and Lorenzo were next, but towards the close, Pedrosa overtook Lorenzo to fall behind Rossi. But once Marquez shrugged off the challenge by Rossi, there was no looking back as he kept adding fractions of second into his lead every minute. His incredible speed on lap 5 put Marquez way ahead of Rossi. In just 10 laps, Marquez was ahead by 3 second, which became 4 second in the 12th lap.
On his peak during the entire race, Marquez was able to build a 5 second margin but dropped back a bit in closing stages by reducing his speed. When he passed the chequered flag on Sunday afternoon, Marquez was 1.5 seconds ahead of Rossi. The rapturous home crowd relished every moment of the super-solo performance from the Spaniard, who claimed a masterful victory with precision riding. At the finish line, Marquez had Rossi behind his back and Dani Pedrosa following close. But for most part, Pedrosa was on the tails of Jorge Lorenzo, whom he passed with seven laps still remaining. However, Pedrosa, who won the Jerez MotoGP last season, was kept at bay by the experienced Rossi. Competing in his 200th GP, Lorenzo had lost nearly 7 seconds in his fight for a podium finish and had to remain content with fourth place as less than celebratory present for his 27th birthday. Despite his great start, Andrea Dovizioso finished fifth, Alvaro Bautista was sixth, Aleix Espargaro seventh, Bradley Smith eighth and Pol Espargaro and Stefan Bradl brought out the rear with ninth and tenth spots.
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